This book is the English translation of P.M. Friesen's authoritative history of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Bruederschaft in Russland (1789–1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte (Halbstadt: Raduga, 1911). The Historical Commission of the US and Canadian Conferences of Mennonite Brethren Churches commissioned the translation. J.B. Toews, Abraham Friesen, Peter J. Klassen, and Harry Loewen were charged with the task of translating and editing the manuscript, which was published in 1978. The scanned version is the 1980 revised edition.
In 1886, P.M. Friesen was commissioned to chronicle the first 25 years of the Mennonite Brethren Church. The project grew during the 25 years that Friesen worked at it such that it became something much bigger, the history of the Mennonite Brethren within the context of the larger Mennonite Fellowship in Russia to 1910.